Since it’s likely our holiday routines will be, BAH HUMBUG, a bit different than we hoped for this year, we tried to think of things families could do together when prepping for the holidays. We like the idea of sharing and what better time to do so than the holiday season?

Kids can have a great time with supervision spending a rainy Saturday creating crave-worthy gifts to share with family and friends. Colleagues and co-workers love them, too! You can level up your culinary creations with an added extra, like a new loaf pan, cookie cutter(s), or festive mug. Top it with ribbon or an ornament, and a recipe card for a perfectly put-together presentation.

Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

MAKES: 36 Cookies

Gingerbread Cookie
Photography by Harmony Lynn Goodson

3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tspn ground cloves
1/4 tspn nutmeg
1/4 tspn salt
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar 1/2 cup margarine

– Stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
– In a medium pot, heat the margarine, corn syrup, and brown sugar over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the margarine is melted.
Pour the hot mixture into a large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until all ingredients are well combined and a sticky dough forms.
– Transfer dough to plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
– Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare your work surface and rolling pin with flour.
– Pinch off 1/4 of the dough at a time and keep the rest wrapped in plastic so it doesn’t dry out.
– Flour the piece of dough you are working with and roll out to 1/8′′ thick for harder and more precisely shaped cookies or 1/4′′ for softer, chewier, and slightly puffed shapes.
– Bake your cookie cutouts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 10 minutes or until baked all the way through. If you want even softer cookies, you can also bake for less time.
– Make sure your cookies don’t have doughy centers by check- ing that the color is consistent over the entire cookie.
– Let cool on the parchment paper before removing. When they are completely cool, you can start decorating them.

Royal Icing:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1 tbsp meringue powder
3 tbsp warm water

– In a clean, grease-free bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the powdered sugar and meringue powder.
– Add the water and beat on high with the whisk attachment until the icing forms soft peaks (about 8-10 minutes).

Cinnamon Bread

MAKES: 2 loaves

Photography by Harmony Lynn Goodson

2 cups sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour 2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp cinnamon 2/3 cup sugar

– Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8”x4” loaf pans.
– In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
– In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil.
– Combine both mixtures into one bowl and stir until smooth.
– In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar swirl ingredients.
– Pour half of the mixture equally into the two loaf pans. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture and swirl into batter with a toothpick.
– Pour the remaining batter into the loaf pans and repeat with more cinnamon sugar.
– Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
– Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Hot Cocoa & Marshmallow Kits

MAKES: Two 16 oz jars, 15 servings per jar

1 1/2 cups dry whole milk powder 1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

– In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
– Add your mix to two 16 oz airtight jars, top with marshmallows and wrap together with ribbon and directions for cocoa preparation.

Add 2 tbsp of cocoa mix to 8 oz of hot milk. Top with marshmallows and enjoy!

Photography by Harmony Lynn Goodson

Harmony Lynn Goodson

Harmony Lynn Goodson is an editorial stylist, content creator, and contributor for lifestyle and entertaining publications. She is a photographer for local restaurants and magazines via her business, Harmony Lynn Photography. Harmony also aims to inspire people who entertain to create lavish parties with her DIY tips and tricks which she enjoys sharing on her personal blog and social media accounts.